There is so much about this pandemic that makes me feel guilty. Everyday I think of the thousands of people on ventilators that are going to die alone. I think about the people who have lost their loved ones and are trying to pick up the pieces in a broken world. I think about the healthcare workers who get up and go to work everyday, despite knowing what they are about to face.
I, on the other hand, get to wake up in my own bed, next to my three year old son and kiss him. My days of homeschooling and taking care of my boys are long, but I’m not working a full time job on top of childcare, nor am I worrying about money. I’m lucky, I’m grateful, and I feel extremely guilty. When COVID-19 cases rise, I have the privilege to protect my family by staying put and not entering any building that is not my home.
This guilt is what makes me loathe Instacart’s current ad campaign. During the slivers of time I have to myself, I enjoy pressing the mute button on the outside world and entering the fictional worlds provided by Peak TV. Unfortunately HULU decided to ruin my escape plan by running Instacart ads which highlight what a shitty person I am.
In one of these commercials a mother and son are in their backyard running around a cardboard spaceship and smiling as if their cardboard box was actually a time machine which had transported them to a pre-November 2016 world. The Instacart God voiceover then says:
“You don’t want to get COVID from an anti-masker, do you? Wouldn’t you rather plop your kid in front of his iPad while you mindlessly scroll through your Instagram feed? Don’t you deserve a break while someone poorer than you does your shopping? Don’t worry about the fact that they might be wondering what kind of person spends $8 on brie. They probably won’t spare you a second thought. They might be going through the aisles on autopilot while thinking about their father who was checked into the ICU two days ago and is fighting off double pneumonia. Do you really care? You have bigger things to worry about, like which of your Facebook friends have lied to get their parents the vaccine and if Kimye is really over. Relax, put up your feet and let social inequity and the systemic failings of capitalism do the work for you.”
Those might not be the exact words of the advert, but that’s exactly what it sounds like to me.